In light of the Pels getting the #1 overall pick in the lottery, I highly doubt that we will see AD get traded this offseason. Dan Gilbert, the new GM of the Pelicans, said he will be adopting the same approach that the Thunder took with Paul George, and
get on his knees to beg AD to stay work his hardest to convince AD that New Orleans is the place to be. After all, the proposed Jrue, Zion, and AD big 3 is a pretty tantalizing one if I have to be honest. Could play out a bit of the season, see how it goes, then trade him. His value will still be through the roof, and you have a chance to have a decent team.
However, AD and his representation are still adamant that AD not only wants a trade, but he wants to be gone sooner rather than later. With that impasse in mind, let’s dive into a couple previews of the 5 best packages (lol) that teams can offer the Pels.
1) Boston Celtics
“He who has the most assets has the most power.” – Danny Ainge (probably)
Despite the apparent issues with the team dynamics, the horrible on court play, and the regression by everyone on the team except 4 players, they can still give the Pelicans the best package. Even though Jayson Tatum may no longer be viewed as better than Kevin Knox and Brandon Ingram by leaps and bounds, he is still the best wing that can be offered by the Celtics, Knicks, or Lakers. Tie in the fact that the Celtics can afford to give up other picks AND mortgage their future on AD, that is so much better for a Pels team looking to rebuild. Sure, waiting til February does eliminate the three picks in this draft the Celtics can offer. However, the three picks this year are the 14th, 20th, and 21st. Don’t know if Rozier, Tatum, those 3 picks, and maybe more picks will get a trade done, but I can guarantee that Danny Ainge will be willing to go all in on a Godfather offer.
2) Houston Rockets
The only way this trade happens is if the Rockets are willing to part with Capela and every draft pick that they can trade. Clint Capela couldn’t stay on the court at all this season, and he did not look like he deserved that enormous contract he was given in the offseason. With the upgrade of AD in the post over Capela, the pick-and-pop game with Harden and pick-and-roll game with CP3 will shred every team in the West. A Durant-less Warriors will lose the West easy, and a super team of CP3, Harden, Gordon, House, and AD will be able to shoot the lights out AND smother opponents on the defensive end. This is an underdog trade I would love to see happen since this can provide the balance the Pelicans are looking for between rebuild and contender.
3) Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers intrigue me the most out of possible teams that can acquire AD. Possessing the vital 2021 unprotected Miami pick, I see it hard for the Pels to decline this trade. The Clips front office can come out the gates with Danilo Gallinari, Jerome Robinson, the 2021 pick, and two more firsts. Maybe they add another first and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the trade, but I believe that should be it. I also think this is one of the best lineups that can be given to Zion. He can grow with SGA and Jerome, and have the veteran presence of Jrue and Danilo. SGA, Jrue, Jerome, Danilo, Zion, and Randle are not bad of a rotating 6, and they will have money to pursue a center and a wing this offseason to pair with E’twuan Moore off the bench. This can help jumpstart the rebuild AND give them a ton of picks to use in the future. Definitely an interesting package coming from the LA team that doesn’t have a horrible color combination.
4) Los Angeles Lakers
Yes, now on to the LA team with the horrible color combo, horrible front office, horrible owner, and horrible package. Does the fact the Lakers’ below-average package stem from the fact they can’t draft or couldn’t sign good players last season?
…is it okay to say it’s both?
Lonzo, Hart, Ingram, and Kuzma are a lot of pieces, yes. Again, them with Zion at center would not be a horrible lineup to have to start a rebuild. Sure, the Pels can also name the number of draft picks they want and the Lakers will add another one on top just to be safe. The biggest issue facing this deal isn’t the fact the Pels owner Gayle Benson refuses to trade with the Lakers. At the end of the day, I hope she will do what is best for her team. However, the biggest issue is that the offered players, the 4th overall pick, and other first rounders just don’t do it for me. The Rockets and Clippers offers are better, and they aren’t as desperate as the Knicks or Celtics. The package is the worst because the organization let it be the worst. The best player in the deal is either Ingram, who had a season ending TOS surgery, or Kuzma, who can’t play defense. It’s pretty tough to justify trading for two cripples, a guy that can’t play d, and a deep bench player. Hence why the Lakers easily have the saddest package of the bunch.
5) New York Knicks
Not gona lie, this Knicks odds are severely shot right now. The potential of their package being selected hinges on whether or not David Griffin, GM of the Pels, would like RJ Barrett at the #3 pick or would rather take someone else later one. I will be releasing an article later detailing to all the Knick trolls out there about why the Knicks’ package sucks, but it is not because of the picks. The Mavs picks and their own picks provide a draft asset pool just as deep as Danny Ainge and the Celtics own. However, the players they would receive are just as “meh” as the Lakers’ offer. Right now, the Knicks cannot make their Godfather offer until June 29th, but it would consist of 4 first round picks (the 3rd, another one of their own, and the two Mavs picks), Frank Ntilikina, Mario Hezonja, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, and Allonzo Trier, and Dennis Smith, Jr. Yes, this offer is big. And yes, it has a lot of offensive firepower in the deal, and Mitchell Robinson plus Zion could put a veritable lid on the goal. However, the assets are poor. While I do prefer DSJ over Lonzo as any sane person should, I do not think the Knicks offer in terms of player quality is better than any offer any other team could make. The quality of the picks is why the Knicks are even still being talked about as a trade destination, and no other reason. Get of the Kevin Knox hype train, he’s got more bricks in his arsenal than Fort Knox’s vaults.
Wait, is that a possible new nickname for Kevin Knox? Wow, who woulda thought it’d take talking about how the Knicks’ package is something to be laughed at to give a new nickname to an overhyped rookie.